Possible options on investigating the Bush-era CIA.

As I see it, there are three possible ways that you could investigate claims of CIA abuse of suspected terrorists during interrogations under Bush.

  1. Don’t.  This would infuriate the Left, most of whom spent considerable amounts of time, effort, and money to elect a President and Congress that would revisit the Salem Witch Trials (with possibly even the mass hangings); and give no net gain to the Right (it’s what they should be doing, anyway), the CIA (ditto), and the Middle (they just don’t care).
  2. Do.  This would infuriate the CIA, a bureaucracy that easily outmatches the current administration in the arcane art of Beltway warfare; quietly please the Right (as that means that a lot of embarrassing* documents would finally get put in the public record); and give no net gain to the Left (it’s what they should be doing, anyway) and the Middle (they just don’t care).
  3. Do, but ostensibly only those claims that violated Bush-era guidelines.  This would anger the CIA (ex post facto career blighting), the Left (it’d legitimize the guidelines), the Right (tailor-made for scapegoating); and give no net gain to the Middle (they just don’t care).  In other words, it’d be the single most politically tone-deaf solution.

So yes, that’s the one that they’re going with.

Moe Lane

PS: Oh, you want a solution?  Easy.  The administration comes out and says that now that it’s had a chance to look at all the information, they’ve changed their mind on their previous position with regard to appropriateness of the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism strategy; and that they’ll be doing a thorough review with the CIA to fix the system to make sure that anything that slipped through the cracks won’t happen again.  Then they actually do the review in a bipartisan fashion, with enough well-known CIA advocates involved to reassure the Agency that there’s not going to be a witch hunt.  That satisfies everybody.

Well, everybody except the Hard Left, but what are they going to do?  Vote Republican?

Crossposted to RedState.